June 28, 2006
From Beans To A Beatle, 25 Years Of Roadside Sales
Paul McCartney shops there religiously, wearing the stand's signature T-shirt while selecting his corn. "I'm not Vicki," the shirt declares, just in case someone might mistake the cutest Beatle for a produce purveyor.
This year Vicki's Veggies, an icon in Amagansett, celebrates its 25th anniversary. Located on Montauk Highway on the eastern rim of the hamlet's business district, the quaint farm stand bustles, vibrant flowerpots and painted lighthouses offering pleasure to the eye as customers seek sustenance for their bellies.
Vicki Littman was just 11 when the industrious tween decided she wanted to sell string beans on the side of the road, her mom Elaine Jones recounted. A year later, her father, Les, built her a wooden structure, even though Elaine was vehemently opposed.
That was in 1981. In the ensuing decades the picturesque site has been memorialized in numerous magazine shoots — as long as fashionistas don't ask Vicki to close down business for photographers. "If they do, we turn them down, it's not fair to our customers," Elaine explained.
Beyond her mother, Littman's entire family pitches in to run the stand — her husband, aunt and uncle and niece are found working the cash register or the vegetable plots on site. During the summer, they all live together on the family compound.
Vicki's grows everything sold at the stand, but there are too many customers to sell only homegrown crops. Imports from other farms in East Hampton and on the North Fork supplement their wares, as do pies from East Hampton Gourmet, and their own famous zucchini bread. Handpicked flowers and herbs are a favorite, and customers who don't need a huge bunch of basil are invited to pick what they need in the herb garden.
To celebrate the anniversary, Vicki's Veggies will host a weekly raffle for customers beginning this weekend. Winners receive a $25 gift certificate. As usual, this year Vicki's will provide all the fresh produce for the Amagansett Fire Department's Annual Chicken Barbecue. They donate the corn and watermelon, as well as cabbage for cole slaw. They may hold some corn in reserve, however, in case Sir Paul comes around.